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Lot 22: Charles Leickert (Dutch 1816 - 1907)

Est: €25,000 - €35,000
€20,000 0 bids

Adams Amsterdam Auctions

October 9, 2022, 8:00 PM CET
Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Charles Leickert (Dutch 1816 - 1907)
Skaters on a sunny winter's day, 1855
oil on canvas
signed and dated 'Ch. Leickert. f 55.' (lower right)
image size 87.5 x 119 cm., frame size 112.5 x 143 cm.

Condition Report

Relined, area with stabilised fine craquelure in the centre, with two retouchings (in the upper and centre right), a light bulge in the lower right corner, in very good condition. Framed in a gilded frame (slightly chipped).


Kraaij, H. J., Charles Leickert (1816-1907): painter of the Dutch landscape, Schiedam 1995, p. 13.
Van der Laan, W., 'Charles Leickert, Kopieerlust des dagelijkschen levens?' in: Tableau Fine Arts Magazine, 1983, vol. 5 (6), p. 390.


David Koetser Gallery, Zurich.
Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, 5 June 1973, lot 163.
Leslie Smith Gallery, Wassenaar, 1991.
Besselaar Collection, Princeton/The Hague.
Acquired from the above by the family of the present owner in 2009.


Charles Leickert, second to his own mentor Andreas Schelfhout (1787-1870), is the unquestionable master of Dutch Romantic winterscapes. Not surprisingly the works by these two excellent painters are often mistaken for one another. Dutch Romanticism greatly differs from its expressions in the rest of Europe. There is no tendency for orientalism, transcendentalism or grand gusts of emotion. The Romantic style in the Netherlands is rather driven by nostalgia for the past which found its representation in typically Dutch landscapes, cityscapes and marine paintings in the spirit of the Dutch 17th century. The only expression of passion found in the paintings of Schelfhout and Leickert can be occasionally identified through the dramatic weather conditions that illustrate the magnificence of nature.

Charles Leickert was born on 22 September 1816 in Brussels, which back then belonged to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. He was raised in considerable wealth as his father served as chamberlain to King William I. In 1826 Leickert’s family moved to the Hague where he attended the Drawing Academy. After his father’s death, despite a tough financial situation, Leickert was able to continue his studies thanks to the scholarship received from the academy board. In these years the artist befriended Wijnand Nuijen - a talented painter and pupil of Andreas Schelfhout, who opened his own studio in 1833. This prompted Leickert to leave the academy and join forces with Nuijen at his atelier. Due to Nuijen’s early death in 1839 Leickert decided to move to the studio of his mentor Andreas Schelfhout, which had a great impact on his further development as an artist.

In 1848 Leickert joined Arti et Amicitiae and only a year later he settled in Amsterdam. This period is considered to be the height of his career where the artist finally escapes his mentor’s influence and finds his original style. The present lot, painted in 1855 at the peak of Leickert’s artistic abilities, perfectly illustrates his technical accomplishments. Most noteworthy is Leickert’s attention to detail - the sheet of ice marked with individual scratches left by passing ice skaters is highlighted by the reflection of the setting sun on the frozen surface. Yet, the figures were of the least importance to the artist. Instead, he would spend days sketching the landscapes, boats, architectural details of churches, castles, farms and houses. The sketches were mostly made en plein air and later worked out in his studio. Despite his great attention to detail, only a few of Leickert’s landscapes convey authentic locations and places. Most of them are a result of combining realistic elements with the artist’s rich imagination. Leickert's paintings share one distinct feature with other forms of Romanticism - they convey the sublimity of nature and its triumph over civilisation. Here, this tendency is exemplified by the magnificent cloud stretched across the clear blue sky which dominates the entire landscape.

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